Middendorp and Zinnbauer out to end local dominance of the PSL
DURBAN - It’s the foreign coaches against the local coaches as the battle for supremacy in the PSL finally restarts today.
For the past four seasons, local coaches have dominated the title race. Pitso Mosimane has won two titles in a row for Mamelodi Sundowns, with his team gunning for a hat-trick this season.
The race for the title resumes today in the much-anticipated clash between Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Dobsonville Stadium.
The Brazilians are second in the league standings with 44 points from 21 matches. They are four points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a game in hand.
Mosimane will be out to claim maximum points today and close the gap between themselves and Amakhosi at the top of the log.
He will be up against German Josef Zinnbauer, who has transformed the Buccaneers into a formidable team since taking over the coaching reins towards the end of last season.
The Sea Robbers still have an outside chance of winning the title. They are fourth on the log with 40 points after 23 games. A victory will be monumental for Pirates as that will cut the lead to Chiefs to only five points. Obviously, they would have played two games more than Chiefs, but points accumulated are better than games in hand.
For Pirates and Zinnbauer, it is all about collecting points with the hope that Chiefs, Sundowns and SuperSport United will drop as many points as possible.
Zinnbauer will be looking to make his mark and win the title in his first full season in South Africa and at the same time end the dominance of local coaches.
But his compatriot Ernst Middendorp at Chiefs will also be determined to capture the spoils as his log-leaders take on Wits at Orlando Stadium tomorrow.
Right now, the title race is between five clubs - Chiefs, Sundowns, SuperSport, Pirates and Bidvest Wits.
Middendorp will be looking to stay at the summit with Chiefs until the end of the season. If he and his troops can do that, the German will end local dominance.
Stuart Baxter was the last foreign coach to win the league with Chiefs in 2014-15. Now Middendorp and Zinnbauer are ready to go full tilt.